The Genius of Dogs

  • by Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods
  • Narrated by Fred Sanders
  • 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Brian Hare, dog researcher, evolutionary anthropologist, and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, and Vanessa Woods offer revolutionary new insights into dog intelligence and the interior lives of our smartest pets.
In the past decade, we have learned more about how dogs think than in the last century. Breakthroughs in cognitive science, pioneered by Brian Hare, have proven dogs have a kind of genius for getting along with people that is unique in the animal kingdom.
Brian Hare's stunning discovery is that when dogs domesticated themselves as early as 40,000 years ago they became far more like human infants than their wolf ancestors. Domestication gave dogs a whole new kind of social intelligence. This finding will change the way we think about dogs and dog training - indeed, the revolution has already begun.
Hare's seminal research has led him to work with every kind of dog from the tiniest shelter puppy to the exotic New Guinea singing dog, from his own childhood dog, Oreo, to the most fashionable schnoodle. The Genius of Dogs is nothing less than the definitive dog book of our time by the researcher who started a revolution.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes, I would make the contents of the book, more supportive of the title.

What was most disappointing about Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods ’s story?

The title lead me to believe it would be stories supportive of the idea that Dogs are Geniuses (much like the book "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home" by Sheldrake). Instead it comes across as an anthropological dissertation of domestication in wolves, feral dogs and canine pets. Interspersed in that information (which is very well presented, yet seemingly inappropriate) are examples of how dogs are, and are NOT, geniuses. There just doesn't seem to be any logical flow to the book or its content, so for the moment I stopped listening to it.

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

It was easy to listen to and didn't take away from the subject matter. (I've listened to books where the narrator's voice was annoying and so I was always reminded it was being read to me.)

Was The Genius of Dogs worth the listening time?

Yes, because the anthropological information and research findings, though disjointed and contradictory, are well presented and convincing.

Any additional comments?

Maybe if I had the hard copy of the book I could see the index layout and understand the authors logical flow for the information, and having that would also allow me to have a reference in the future for the anthropology parts of the book.

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- Just

Misleading title- My guess is that the Published

knew a title such as "Evolutionary Anthropology" would probably NOT sell as well as a title like the "Genius of Dogs".
Let me be clear - it is a solid book- really focused on the theory that "Self" domestication accounts for the biological and behavioral traits seen in Chimps, Bonobos, Wolves, Dogs and Humans and is well told- weaving these theories and experiments around stories from the author's child hood and his "on the ground" experiences and experiments with various animals.
Although "cognition" and his dog "Oreo" play a central part in this book- it is decidedly NOT a book about the Genius of Dogs. I probably would have given it a four or five had it been appropriately titled- but had it been appropriately titled I would not have purchased it- so the published was correct.

If you are looking for a book on the evolutionary impact of aggression or non aggression on certain species and some interesting theories (one of which is that human evolution and survival was dependent on dogs- not the other way around) then buy this.
But if you are looking for a book focused tightly on dogs and how they think and their behavior- go else where.

Having said that I am not going to ask for my money back- I enjoyed the book and learned much from it.
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- Howard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-05-2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio